30+ Phenomenal Hovercraft Facts You Would Love To Know | Kidadl


30+ Phenomenal Hovercraft Facts You Would Love To Know

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A hovercraft is a vehicle or craft that can travel on both land and water.

These hovercrafts are also known as Air Cushion Vehicles or ACV for short. These crafts make use of propellors to produce an air cushion below them, allowing them to float or glide over any surface.

The hovercraft is an innovative vehicle and is a combination of an airplane, boat, and helicopter. It is referred to as an amphibious vehicle, which means that it can easily glide over land or water. It is also capable of gliding between land and water. It makes use of propellors to create an air cushion below it, which allows it to glide over various obstacles on land and water. This also allows them to glide over various other surfaces including ice, rocks, and mud. There are many different kinds of hovercrafts today, including the larger military hovercraft, the aerodynamic racing hovercraft, the small personal hovercraft, the rescue hovercraft, the cruising hovercraft, and so on.

Introduction To Hovercrafts

A hovercraft is a vehicle that can travel supported by a cushion of air on water or land.

The hovercraft is an amphibious, air-cushion vehicle. The hovercraft consists of powerful propellors, which blows air downwards, creating a cushion of air below the vehicle. The hovercraft floats on top of this air cushion, which allows it to glide across many different surfaces including water, land, and ice.

Hovercrafts have a variety of uses. The military hovercrafts are used for carrying military cargo, troops, and tanks. The hovercraft is also used during natural disasters for rescue missions, as it is capable of traveling over many surfaces and hard-to-reach areas.

Hovercrafts can move very fast, and hence, are often used as racing vehicles. The hovercraft Club of Great Britain regularly hosts hovercraft racing competitions across the United Kingdom. Single-seater hovercrafts are used for these racing events.

The World Hovercraft Federation is a non-profit organization that also hosts regular hovercraft racing championships.

Hovercrafts also have other recreational uses. They are regularly used for cruising in lakes and waterways. The hovercraft Cruising Club of Britain promotes the use of modern hovercraft to explore the coastlines, beaches, rivers, and lakes of the United Kingdom.

Hovercrafts are the most commonly used in rescue missions. Fire departments in Canada and the United States of America use hovercrafts for various ice rescues, such as for rescuing ice fishermen from broken ice.

In Scotland, the Red Cross has commissioned a hovercraft service for flood rescue following the 2007 UK floods.

In Madagascar, hovercrafts have been commissioned by Hoveraid for various missions across the island. This is because hovercrafts are the only vehicles that have the capability of reaching various remote locations across the Island.

In 2006, a high-speed hovercraft called the Suna-X has been operating as a ferry in Seattle. It can carry 47 passengers and a total load of 47,500 lbs (21545 kg).

Hovercrafts were first manufactured in the United Kingdom. Today, the United Kingdom remains one of the largest manufacturers of hovercrafts in the world. Companies such as the British Hovercraft corporation remain at the forefront of hovercraft manufacturing in the world today.

The Invention Of Hovercrafts

The hovercraft was invented in 1955 by Christopher Sydney Cockerell, a British engineer. He created the very first prototype of the commercial hovercraft in 1955 and obtained the patent for his invention in 1956.

Hovercrafts consist of large fans and a rubber skirt to keep it afloat.

While living in a marina in Norfolk, Christopher Sydney Cockerell began to think of creating a vehicle that would not produce any drag. Vehicles such as cars and boats produce a force known as drag, which considerably reduces their speed.

This drag is caused by friction, due to the contact between the vehicle and the surface it is on. Hence, Christopher created the hovercraft, a device that would produce a very small amount of drag, as it floats above the surfaces it travels on.

Christopher found that he could create a vehicle that would float above land or water by producing an air cushion under it. With the use of propellors, he created a device that would blow air downwards, allowing it to float and glide.

The hovercraft consists of the main engine, which is used to power the propellers or fans. There is a central fan, which blows air downwards, allowing it to float. The secondary fans are pointed backward, allowing the hovercraft to move forward, backward, or sideways. The bottom of the hovercraft consists of a rubber skirt, which traps the air cushion under the vehicle.

When the central fan blows air downwards, it creates high air pressure below the hovercraft. This provides a force called 'lift,' which helps the vehicle float. This downwards blowing air is trapped in the rubber skirt, which inflates with air, causing the hovercraft to rise.

The secondary fan sucks in air from the back of the vehicle and transfers it to the central fan which blows it downwards. This creates extra thrust, which is the force that drives the hovercraft forwards.

This basic hovercraft technology has been developed over the years and adapted to many other uses. For example, this basic hovercraft design was used to create the Aerotrain, a hovertrain in France in 1965. This technology was also used to create the Dorfbahn Serfaus, an underground rapid transit system in Austria in 1985.

Benefits Of Hovercrafts

Since the hovercraft floats on a cushion of air, it never makes contact with the surface it is running on. Instead, it floats or glides over this surface. As a result, it produces very negligible friction, which in turn, allows it to produce virtually no drag. This allows hovercrafts to move at very high speeds. The current land speed record stands at 56.25 mph (90.52 kph).

They are amphibious crafts and can travel over any surface, including land, water, ice, mud, grass, and so on. They can also access difficult-to-reach areas, and hence, are often used during natural disasters to rescue people who are trapped. The Griffon rescue hovercraft is commonly used for various rescue missions during natural disasters.

Hovercrafts hover 7.87-23.62 in (19.98-59.99 cm) above the ground. Combined with the high speed of these crafts, they are the most suited for emergencies as they can travel at high speeds while avoiding hazards and obstacles.

They are more cost-effective and easier to maintain than helicopters. Hence, they can carry cargo and passengers very efficiently.

Hovercrafts are more energy-efficient than boats and helicopters. This is because they create virtually no drag while floating on top of land or water.

The hovercraft's marine tasks are carried out in an environmentally friendly way. As they float above the surface of the water, they do not produce a wake. Hence, marine ecosystems do not get disturbed or damaged like how they do with larger boats or ships.

They produce less ground pressure on land. They do not disrupt the ground as they simply glide or float over any land surface. Shockingly, a human footprint produces 20 times more ground pressure than a hovercraft.

The air cushion under the hovercraft is considered to be extremely gentle. In fact, it is so gentle, it cannot even crack a raw egg.

The rubber skirt of a hovercraft acts as a giant airbag. Therefore, large waves that could damage a boat would not damage a hovercraft, as the rubber skirt acts as a large shock absorber.

The First Manufactured Hovercraft

The first commercial hovercraft was manufactured in 1955 by Christopher Cockerell, the National Research Development Corporation, and the marine engineering company Saunders-Roe. This hovercraft was named the SR.N1 or Saunders-Roe Nautical 1.

The SR.N1 consisted of a vertical fan which was located in the center of the craft.

The SR.N1 hovered for the first time on June 11, 1959.

It made its very first journey on July 25, 1959, across the English Channel.

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, took over the SR.N1 in December 1959. It was said that he drove the hovercraft so fast, it was dented. However, this dent was never allowed to be fixed and soon came to be known as the Royal Dent.

Although the design of the SR.N1 was impressive, its hover height was too close to the surface at only 9 in (22.86 cm). This was improved upon by the addition of two rubber rings below the craft. This allowed for a larger hover height.

The SR.N1 could carry a load of up to twelve soldiers, their equipment, and two pilots.

In 1962, the first passenger hovercraft was introduced to the world. It was known as the Vickers-VA 3 and operated from Wales.

In 1965, Hovertravel, a public hovercraft service, carried 38 passengers from Wales on the SR.N6. Currently, Hovertravel is still the world's largest operating public hovercraft service.

Today, small hovercrafts are very widely used for rescue missions, leisure, racing, and military operations.

The Russian Zubr is the world's largest hovercraft at 187 ft (56.99 m) long, and 73.1 ft (22.28 m) wide. It can carry a total load of 1.17 million lbs (0.53 million kg).

Written By
Joan Agie

<p>With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.</p>

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